Beginning of the game
At the beginning of the game you have two cards of age 1 in your hand. You choose one to meld immediately and keep the other in your hand. The player who melded the first card in English alphabetical order plays first.
The first player gets only one action to start with, so does the second player in a four player game. After that, everybody gets two actions on their turn.
Except for the starting player(s) on the first turn of the game (see Beginning of the Game, above), you must take two actions each turn, from the following four (you may take the same action twice):
DRAW: take a card of value equal to the highest top card on your board from the supply deck. If this deck is empty, draw from the next available higher deck. This rule for drawing is also applicable for any effect with the "draw" keyword.
MELD: play a card from your hand to your board. If you already have a stack of that color on your board, place the new card on top, otherwise place this card in a new stack. If a stack is splayed (spread to one side), that splay is continued by the new card.
DOGMA: each opponent with fewer of the featured icon (visible on their board) than you must obey the "I demand" effects. Each opponent with at least as many of the featured icon shares the non-demand effects. Effects are executed clockwise, ending with you. If sharing an effect with one or several opponents has had any consequence on the game situation, you take a single free Draw action at the end of your dogma action.
ACHIEVE: You can take an action to claim any available age achievement if you have at least 5 times the value of that age in your score pile AND a top card on your board of equal or higher value. For example to achieve age 1 you need 5 points and any card on your board. To achieve age 2, 10 points and at least a 2 as a top card. Points are kept, not spent. The special achievement cards do not require a player to use an action to claim them.
End of the game
The game can end in three ways:
The game ends immediately (even inside a dogma effect) when a player reaches a required number of achievements:
-2 players: 6 achievements
-3 players: 5 achievements
-4 players: 4 achievements
-4 players (team game variant): 6 achievements combined by the teammates
The player who reaches the achievement goal first is the winner, regardless of points.
This happens if someone tries to draw an 11 or higher. The game ends immediately (even inside a dogma effect) and the winner is the player who has the greatest score in their score pile. (If tied, the number of achievements is a tie-breaker; if still tied, those players both win.) In a team game, the teammates combine their score. (If tied, they combine their achievements.)
Dogma effects of a few cards awards a win if some conditions are met. If more than one player is eligible (except teammates in a team game), the game continues.
All expansions add a little content to the game which increases the variability of the gameplay. In general, you add one more required achievement to complete the game (7 for 2 players, 6 for 3 players, etc.) per expansion being played.
The draw rules are unique for each expansion but the general rule is if the base pile is empty, you draw up to the next age when drawing an expansion card.
Artifacts of History
This expansion adds the ability to dig for artifact cards which have a purple back. After they are dug up, the cards are placed in the player’s display area which is visible to all players.
Artifacts are dug by using a Meld action to do one of the following things:
-Meld a card of the same or lesser value on top of another card.
-Meld a card on top of another card where the hexagonal symbols are present on the same position on the card.
In both cases, the artifact age that will be drawn matches the covered card. If the base card pile for the covered age is empty, then you draw up to the next non-empty age.
The dig will only occur if no card is already present in the player’s display and there is at least one artifact card left to draw in the associated age.
Once an artifact is on display it is not considered part of a player’s board nor hand and is thus immune to dogma effects that would otherwise target that card. Additionally, at the beginning of subsequent turns, the displayed artifact can be used in one of 3 ways:
-It can be dogma’d using a free action. The symbols for determining vulnerability and sharing are added to the total on the board. After this action is taken, the card is returned to its supply deck.
-The artifact can be returned to its supply deck.
-Leave the artifact where it is (pass).
The artifact, while on display, may be melded like a card from your hand to your board as a part of your normal turn.
Artifacts contain a special type of demand effect that starts with "I COMPEL". A player is vulnerable to compel effects only if they would be eligible to share your non-demand effects. Other than this difference, they behave exactly like demand effects.
Relics are an optional addition that accompanies the Artifacts expansion. These count as special achievements towards the final goal, but are more fluid than other achievements because they can be stolen as long as they are in any achievement pile. Relics are seized when an artifact of the matching age is dug. They can be placed in the achievement pile with the rest of the achievements or in your hand if the corresponding expansion is being played.
The golden rule
Do as many as you can and ignore the rest.
This rule will help you to leverage ambiguities.
This has many consequences:
-Exchanges do not need to be symmetrical. Depending on the situation, 2 cards can be exchanged with 2, 1 card with 4, or even 0 card with 10.
-If you don't have enough cards to fulfill the effect requirement, you can process all the cards that you do have.
-However, if a "you may" effect requires you to return 3 cards to trigger an effect, and you have less than 3 cards, you have to pass.
You can hover on the reference card to have a reminder of the actions and keywords.
Game editions and differences
The game was first published by Asmadi Games in 2010.
Then Iello published another edition of the game in 2011 with the same mechanics and card effects, but using a different terminology.
More recently, Asmadi Games gathered the original game and all its expansions in a new box "Innovation Deluxe" with new graphics, and also made some slight modifications on nine cards for balancing purposes.
The online adaptation is based on the third edition of Asmadi games for the artwork. For the rules, you can choose between:
-Last edition (this is the default): these are the rules of the Asmadi "Innovation Deluxe" pack. The expansions will only be compatible with this version.
-First edition: these are the rules of the original Asmadi game. These rules are consistent with the Iello edition too.
In consultation with the game publisher, we’ve made a small change to this online adaptation which affects when special achievements are awarded. We removed the word “immediately” from some of the special achievements, and those achievements are now only awarded at the end of the execution of each effect and at the end of each action.